6/30/2015

In Brief: Rand Paul Is So Awesome That He'll Hang Out With a Traitor

Rand Paul is a different kind of politician. He's the kind of presidential candidate who will meet with anyone. Are you a rancher who refuses to pay federal grazing fees that every other rancher has to pay? Did you invite a bunch of armed fucknuts, paranoiacs, and numbskulls to threaten an insurrection against the federal government, which could have killed everyone there with a single Hellfire missile? Are you a crazed racist hick who openly "ponders" if "the Negro" was better off in slavery?

Even if you're all that in one, Rand Paul will meet with you and legitimize your bugfuck insanity, Cliven Bundy.


Obviously, the next step will be for Paul to hang out with Klan members and Aryan Nation "soldiers," followed by a sympathetic jailhouse visit to Dylann Roof. Because that's just how fucking different Rand Paul is from your typical presidential candidate, bitches, and you can't handle his amazing awesomeness and don't you want legal pot?

(Truth be told, earlier today, the Rude Pundit could not, for the life of him, remember whether or not Rand Paul was actually running for president. Not that it matters.)

Post Today?

People, it's been a day, as we used to say down south. Probably elsewhere, too. 

The Rude Pundit has a thing or two to say about the throbbing asshole who sharted his way into the presidential race today. He'll try to get to it tonight. 

6/29/2015

In Brief: Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Guzzle Raki Until He's Blind


That's the police in Istanbul, Turkey, using water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse a gay pride parade that had marched into the central square. No one was exactly sure what pissed off the authorities, but, since it's Ramadan, the festivities probably made some tight-ass, fasting Muslim fundamentalists cranky. The party continued on other blocks, though.

In the United States, you can bet that fuckholes like Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer, and Ted Cruz all wished they could hold the hoses at pride parades all over America, blowing the happy right off the celebrating faces.

6/26/2015

The Lesson of This Week: We're Sick of the Past

It's rare that you get to feel like you live in a moment of real change. Oh, sure, there will be some documentary down the line that will proclaim that this decade "changed everything." That's kind of a bullshit thing. Every decade changes everything (see CNN's series on the 1960s and now the 1970s). Time works that way. In fact, the failure of some to recognize that everything changes is one of the only consistencies throughout the years.

This week, the American people and the Supreme Court and President Obama declared the past done. Obviously, we need to learn from the past. But the idea is that you learn from it and then move forward. You don't pretend it didn't happen. And you sure as shit don't live in it. You live now, with an eye to the future. Otherwise we're damned to repeat.

We didn't damn ourselves this week. Oh, no. Quite clearly, the zeitgeist of the nation is that we are fucking sick of those who want to try to drag us backwards. Fuck them. Fuck that.

The easiest, most obvious example is the nearly blindingly fast pivot on the Confederate flag and other public displays of pride in the Americans who rebelled against the United States to defend slavery. From people finally admitting that they are ashamed of their slave-owning ancestors (or the ones who aided and abetted slavery) to the Mayor of New Orleans calling for the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Circle, we have quickly reached a point where anyone justifying their love of the Confederacy is seen as a racist asshole deserving of contempt.

And the Supreme Court this week had bad news for Americans who want things to go backwards. No, sorry, go fuck yourself, it said, we're not going back to the savage healthcare system we had before the Affordable Care Act (which, yes, is not perfect, but is a helluva lot better than it was). And your religious beliefs from the past aren't worth two gerbil shits when it comes to recognition of the right of two consenting adults to marry. If the only thing you have to defend your goddamned mean dumbness is "That's the way it's always been done," then you have nothing.

These next few days are going to be overloaded with overheated rhetoric from the right-wing commentariat, all trying desperately to drag us back into their cruel, racist, homophobic past. We will hear about how God wants things, as if that has jackshit to do with how we create our laws. We will hear about constitutional amendments, which is the only way to change what the Supreme Court did (and, yes, the Supreme Court is the final word on the Constitution as it exists today). We will hear hysteria and moaning from people who are watching as the past, their past, the past they have clung to and believed in and lived for is murdered right before their eyes by the vicissitudes of progress. They are becoming isolated, these past-clingers, and they have revealed themselves as, at best, useless or, at worst, destructive.

Finally, let us exult, briefly, before we righteously criticize him again, that the transformative legacy of President Obama was affirmed this week. As he said in his interview with Marc Maron, which was released on Monday, you cannot deny that the country is a better place than it was before he took office. If you try, you are lying. We voted for the man, most of us twice, and, damn, some days it's good to feel proud of that. Let's enjoy that for a moment before we remember, oh, yeah, drone war and banker-coddling.

The future is ahead, with all the hard work it takes to get there. Onward.

6/25/2015

The Supreme Court Victory for the ACA: Punching Scalia in the Balls

What fucking country was Antonin Scalia talking about in his epically spit-flecked dissent on the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell? The majority said, pretty clearly, "Yeah, you can go fuck yourself with your poorly-worded phrase" and allowed subsidies for people buying health insurance on the federal exchange. Why are they buying it on the federal exchange? Because they live in states where they have governors and/or legislatures who couldn't give a shit less about poor and middle class people.

Scalia wrote, no doubt while Clarence Thomas was blowing him while Sammy Alito was rimming his asshole, "The Court predicts that making tax credits unavailable in States that do not set up their own Exchanges would cause disastrous economic consequences there. If that is so, however, wouldn’t one expect States to react by setting up their own Exchanges?" Big Tony Scalia ain't a dumb man; in fact, he is a regular at the cabal meetings where, pre-masked orgy, fat conservative fucksacks talk about how much they hate that Negro president - they look at Clarence Thomas, who laughs, laughs, laughs - and how they want to destroy anything he's touched. But this part of the dissent is Scalia living in fantasy America, where Republicans do the right thing to take care of the regular people.

This ain't that America. This is the America where blithering, ignorant assholes decided that having the federal government pay for expanded Medicaid in full and then 90% of it was some kind of crazy socialist plot to keep the poors alive and voting Democratic. This is the America where Jesus-crammed-up-the-ass Republicans would rather spend time passing restrictions on abortion rights than worrying about shit like school funding. They forced their citizens onto the federal exchange because they don't give a horny rat's dick about them. And Scalia knows this. He was just fluffing the fucknuts, putting lipstick on a dead pig.

The six-justice majority (so let's be clear - it wasn't even close) knew it, too. They knew that there was no way in hell that Republicans at the state or federal level would do anything but vile fuckery when it comes to the Affordable Care Act because they have so much of their empty agenda riding on its failure. So their decision essentially recognizes that, yeah, shit, of course the people who created the Affordable Care Act wanted the states to run exchanges and were shocked at all the Republicans who suddenly decided that the federal government controlling part of their state's economy was cool. And the majority went ahead, punched Scalia in the balls, and said, "You know what? You may want to force fist your beliefs into your citizens, but that's ideological rape, fuckers. Knock it off. Enough. We're done here. Assholes. Sheesh." (Put that in legalese and it's the essence of Roberts' decision.)

The Rude Pundit had skin in this game. As he's mentioned before, his sister and her family (including delightful kids, one of whom has a pre-existing condition that requires expensive-ass treatment) are on a health insurance plan from the federal exchange because Louisiana is led by a power-hungry, skinny-necked loser. Scalia would have condemned the Rude Sis to poverty. Instead, she's an independent contractor and her husband started a small business, all because Obamacare freed them from the tyranny of health coverage through employment.

Meanwhile, conservative spoogebuckets will spray their acid spooge, declaring the end of the nation and the beginning of another kind tyranny, just like such tyrannical countries like Germany and Japan, who know what tyranny actually looks like. Meanwhile, millions of people still fall into the savage gap between Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion that their states deny them.

Meanwhile, for most of the nation, we have a status quo, and that is life under the Affordable Care Act. The least Republicans could do would be to move on and fuck up something else. But, you know, they won't. They want to make the United States into Scalia's cruel, divided country. That's the only way to victory.

6/24/2015

Goddamn Bobby Jindal

This is from newly-announced presidential candidate Bobby Jindal's campaign website about how much being Hindu sucked cow balls: "Throughout high school, Bobby wrestled with the Lord and the work that He was doing in his life. He dug out his Bible and read it cover to cover. In high school, while watching a grainy film about the Crucifixion of Jesus, Bobby surrendered his life to Christ and has never looked back."

There's pandering and then there's groveling like a scabby-kneed whore begging to get fucked in the ass for a couple of bucks and a hit of meth. Even Jesus rolled his eyes after reading that.

By the way, that's from a section titled "Seven Things You Didn't Know About Bobby." Apparently, we didn't know that "two things are consistent in keeping the governor going: daily exercise… and daily chocolate chip cookies. Bobby starts each morning with a hard workout, and recovers with a recovery meal of chocolate, carbs and sugar. Bobby is a scientific anomaly; and scientists should probably study him."

So you're a medical freak who turned your back on your non-white racial heritage, eh, Piyush, except when it's convenient? Well, that pretty much makes you a top-tier Republican candidate for vice-president.

By the way, if you haven't checked it out, watch Jindal's creepy-ass announcement that looks like he and his wife are telling the kids about their impending divorce ("Daddy's gonna spend a lot of time away from home in Iowa. Maybe you'll get to go with Daddy").

Late Post Today

The Rude Pundit is continuing to help others face down some dragons. 

Back late, late with more samurai rudeness.

6/23/2015

Quick One: Let's All Remember One Last Confederate Flag Pin

The Rude Pundit isn't available for much punditry of a rude nature today, having to deal with things of a more personal, less political nature.

However, in response to right-wing websites ululating in joy over the discovery of Clinton-Gore 1992 campaign buttons with the Confederate flag on them, let's all remember a more recent election and contemplate the meaning of this button in the context of who was running:


It's real. The source is a website about presidential campaign buttons.

That ain't a dog whistle. It's a goddamn foghorn.

6/22/2015

In Brief: A Glimpse of South Carolina in the Wake of the Call for the Confederate Flag to Be Shit-Canned

Here's what the Rude Pundit imagines happened in South Carolina right when word leaked out that Gov. Nikki Haley would call for the removal of the Confederate flag from its padlocked place on a pole on the grounds of the capitol:

94.9% of the white people in the state breathed a sigh of relief. Even if they had never expressed it before, they hated that the flag was still there, mocking any attempts for the state to seem like it was progressing past its horrific racist past and its position as the birth canal of the Civil War. This doesn't mean that a good many of them won't tell others they think it's a tragedy and what about their pride in their ancestors who fought for states' rights and bullshit lie upon bullshit delusion. 'Cause, you know, they still have to fit in with their loudest friends.

5% of the white people in the state got enraged, thinking that Haley was giving in to the bleeding heart liberals that didn't understand that the flag stood for pride in their ancestors who fought for states' rights and bullshit lie upon bullshit delusion.

In fact, Haley addressed them directly, saying, "Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty. They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate. Nor is it racism." And that'd be awesome, except for the fact that it is racist and it is hate and their ancestors fought and many died for a racist, hateful cause. It's fucking perverse, like a gang honoring a fallen member for all the cops he killed. Believe it or not, sometimes your dead relatives are pieces of shit who only deserve contempt.

A tenth of a percent of white people are angry at the niggers and nigger-lovers for desecrating their symbol and want to start a race war. But, you know, that's pretty much what those fucknuts were thinking before today.

Most of the black people of the state are more than likely thinking, "That's a nice step. Now how about not shooting up or burning our churches?"

6/19/2015

Your Support of the Confederate Flag Makes You a Traitor

Once a year, every April 12, on the steps of the capitol buildings in all the states that seceded from the United States, the Confederate flag should be burned. The ceremony should be attended by all the legislators, all the state's Supreme Court justices, and the governor. Then, when the embers are dying, a black man or woman, chosen by lottery, should be brought up to piss on the ashes. Every year. Just to remind anyone who supports it what the value of the garbage flag is.

People who try to justify the display of the stars and bars of the Confederacy always try to say the same things: "It means something else to people" or "What about this symbol [usually something Muslim]? Should we ban that?" Well, sure. In that case, you could make a case to ban the cross because of all the times it was burned by KKK jerk-offs to intimidate black Americans.

The difference, though, is that the Confederate flag exists as a symbol only because a group of traitors tried to break up the United States because they wanted to keep on owning slaves. That's it. You can say it means something different to you; you can say it means "Southern pride" or some such bullshit, but you are at best ignorant, at worst a liar, probably both. It speaks volumes about how much power we give fools in this nation that the Confederate flag would still be seen as a valid expression of anything other than hatred for black people.

When you're white in the South, you are often tested by other whites. Do you think the South will rise again? What do you think about the Confederate flag? For most people, it's just a background thing that they don't notice until someone says, "Why the fuck is there a rebel flag on your hat?" You see it everywhere - on license plates, on t-shirts, on buildings, on motherfucking official government property, as if somehow, appeasing the fools is a noble goal. No. The noble goal is telling the fools to stop being foolish. Everything that "honors" anyone from the Confederacy, from the flag to the generals, should be wrecked.

Antebellum matron Lindsey Graham declared that the Confederate flag is "part of who we are." In that case, you may as well hang a noose from a flagpole in front of the statehouse in Columbia and call it your heritage. It'd be less dishonest than the rebel flag that's padlocked in place now.

Let's put this as clearly as possible: If you believe there is some good in the symbol of the Confederate flag, if you think that your nonsensical faith in your history is more important than what it means to the black people, then you are a traitor, like the traitorous bastards you're descended from.  Dylan Roof is another traitor. He is your inheritance, Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy. His actions were because of you.

6/18/2015

Of Course It's the Guns. It's Always the Guns.

We know, right? We know that, at the end of the discussion, after we've talked about racism and hatred and mental illness, what remains are the guns. No, you won't get rid of racism and homophobia and hatred and mental illness by taking the guns away, but nothing will ever get rid of that. Those aren't tangible things. Ideas can't be taken out of someone's hands, alive and warm or cold and dead, melted down, and eliminated.

But guns can be.

Guns amplify the racism and homophobia, foster hatred, and give an easy outlet to the mentally ill. The sad part is that we know this. We know it to be true. Even the vast majority of people who cling to the belief that only guns can stop guns understand the equation. Easy access to guns means more murder.

But we are so afraid. Politicians are afraid of the NRA. Gun owners are afraid of government power. Everyone is told to be afraid of their neighbors, the black guy walking down the street, the Muslims in front of a mosque. And that fear has made us hold to our guns, if not in actuality then in support of mild laws and compromising politicians.

Yet reality demonstrates again and again that, mostly, the fear is over nothing, over a lie. There's never a good guy with a gun around when you need one. And, no, more guns won't solve that.

This post is absent of facts. It's absent of links. It's absent of stated context, although you know what the reference points are. They have become a mantra of places: Charleston, Newtown, Aurora, Orlando, and many more already part of the chant and many more to be added.

This blogger has grown weary of the depraved ignorance that has taken the place of rational discussion. He's long been amazed at how people who are wary of the motives of the government they elected don't have any suspicions of the organizations and corporations who only answer to the dollar. Very little surprises him anymore, not even this latest massacre.

It is who we are. It is a price to pay for freedom, we are told. And yet, somehow, we are less and less free.

6/17/2015

Donald Trump: "You Call That Cocksucking? I Can Suck All the Cocks At Once."

Donald Trump glided over to the lectern at the Trump Penis Substitute Tower in New York City yesterday and announced that not only was he running for President, he was going to suck all the cocks. Except, as is Trump's way, there was a twist. "I'm sure you've all seen Chris Christie and Ted Cruz suck all the cocks before," he sneered. "Well, I can do one better. I will not only suck all the cocks. I will suck them all at the same time." The bought and paid for audience gasped, as they had been prompted to do. Trump waved his hands to calm everyone down. "You may think that one man can't suck every cock in this election in a single blow job," he assured the crowd, "But this is Donald Trump we're talkin' about. I suck all the cocks for a living. Now...bring me the cocks."

Even the bedraggled hobos who were promised a meal, a bottle, and a twenty for loitering around the scene for a little while were aghast as Trump began to cram cocks into his mouth. "When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time," Trump exclaimed, yanking on the cocks that were one-by-one inserted into his face. Shoving the cock of immigration into his hideously enlarged mouth, as if he had the jaw of a boa constrictor with particular tastes, Trump said, "It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast."

By this point, the people who hadn't turned away in shame, which, truth be told, were mainly the media who know a ratings magnet when they see it, wondered how Trump could possibly be heard with all those cocks in his mouth. But they didn't know that Trump had something up his sleeve, or, actually, in his pants. Already bent over to give himself more leverage with the cocks, Donald Trump dropped his Hugo Boss slacks and exposed his ass. Then he turned his ass to the microphone and started to speak with his asshole: "Our enemies are getting stronger and stronger by the way, and we as a country are getting weaker. Even our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work. It came out recently they have equipment that is 30 years old. They don’t know if it worked. And I thought it was horrible when it was broadcast on television, because boy, does that send signals to Putin and all of the other people that look at us."

Donald Trump's asshole was about as eloquent as Donald Trump's mouth and just as voluble. It would not shut up: "And that’s what’s happening. And it’s going to get worse, because remember, Obamacare really kicks in in ’16, 2016. Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him, I actually would say. I have the best courses in the world, so I’d say, you what, if he wants to— I have one right next to the White House, right on the Potomac. If he’d like to play, that’s fine."

Finally, after about a half hour or more of sucking cocks, a bunch of cocks, all the cocks, the cocks started to orgasm, filling Donald Trump with jizz until he was coughing and gagging on it, with jizz coming out of his nose like milk after laughter. His asshole said that Trump has "a total net worth of—net worth, not assets, not— a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets— Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York— many other places all over the world. So the total is $8,737,540,00. Now I’m not doing that," we were assured, "I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not."

Trump stood up, semen coated face and neck glistening, plucking hairs out of his mouth, muttering to an assistant, "You told me they'd all be shaved clean," and he gazed, glazed, at the cameras. "This is the challenge I give to my Republican opponents. It's not enough to suck all the dicks. We've seen that kind of leadership before in this party. Now we need a man who, as I just showed you, can suck them together because we don't have time for one dick here and one dick there."

Then he walked off as members of the media ran up to him to lick his face clean and "Rockin' in the Free World" played.

6/16/2015

Review of The Silencing (Part 2): A Strange Lack of Actual Silencing

(The Rude Pundit is reviewing The Silencing, which is not the title of a serial killer movie but is columnist/commentator Kirsten Powers' new book, subtitled, "How the Left Is Killing Free Speech.")

As mentioned yesterday, the biggest problem of The Silencing is the incredible lack of anyone actually being silenced. Challenged, annoyed, harassed, insulted, debated, yeah, sure. But someone being denied the ability to speak or someone losing a job? Not so much.

In fact, here's a list of a bunch of examples in the book where the end result is not silence:

Page 29: Alec Baldwin tweets racist things about conservative pundit Michelle Malkin. Others tweet racism, too. Malkin did not lose her column.

(Side note: Powers relies a great deal on things people tweet. If you rely on Twitter for examples of ugliness, you may as well just say, "Yeah, most of Twitter" and be done with it. Just because Twitchy and Huffington Post think tweets are important doesn't mean they are.)

Page 31: Ed Schultz, Bill Maher, and Keith Olbermann said sexist things about S.E. Cupp and Sarah Palin. And we never heard from them again.

Page 34: Chris Matthews and others say that people who oppose Obama are racist. Then Matthews had them all killed, as is his way.

Page 36: Paul Krugman and others say that Rep. Paul Ryan was racist in what he said about "inner city" men and women.

Page 39: Some feminists think women who are against abortion rights are not feminists. Some feminists believe there is a GOP War on Women.

Page 46: Some blogs thought that National Journal editor Ron Fournier, late of AP, was unfair in his criticism of Barack Obama in 2008.

Page 59: Some religious organizations wanted to opt out of requirements that they not discriminate against LGBT people if the organization wants government contracts. Liberal blogs thought that was discrimination.

Page 107: The entire chapter is about how President Obama and his administration seek to discredit Fox "news," which, as we know, was totally taken off the air. (Really, was Powers under some kind of contractual obligation to defend Fox? Because there is a "doth protest too much" feel to this whole part.)

Page 123: Media Matters says mean things about Fox. (Indeed, Powers seems to believe that David Brock is the King of Liberal Media, which, as far as the Rude Pundit has heard in his secret underground cabal meetings with every other lefty blogger, is not the case.)

Page 142: Only Fox covered the story of killer abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, which would be totally true if it wasn't completely false.

Page 154: Some women writers accused Mitt Romney of "mansplaining" things. Obviously, that's why Romney lost the 2012 election.

You get the idea. Time and again, Powers' examples are ludicrous, like the worst whining of right-wing blogs and Newsbusters. She invokes Joseph McCarthy several times, but when she does, it's just shorthand for "people said shit that was unfair," not "someone lost everything because of their beliefs."

To be fair, the section on college campuses does contain real, genuine, disturbing censorship by the left. Like Powers, the Rude Pundit found the treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis somewhat appalling. Even if he disagrees with her, an angry mob shouldn't determine who gets to speak. And he couldn't agree more that the UC-Santa Barbara incident where a professor tore up the signs of an anti-choice protester on campus is messed up. These are acts of silencing. Women being mean to Mitt Romney is not.

Powers believes that liberals should"know better" than to attack people with language more befitting, one assumes, conservatives. But this grasping at every time liberals - the phrase that Powers coins and uses endlessly is "illiberal left," which is about as meaningless as it sounds - say something bad means that Powers ignores actual silencing that is done repeatedly by the right, aided and abetted by Fox "news."

Remember the story of Shirley Sherrod? She was viciously attacked and hounded out of her job at the Department of Agriculture by right wing blogs and Fox for something she said, purely and simply and totally reported wrongly, as even Fox had to admit.

Or how about how ACORN, an organization devoted to helping poor people, was destroyed by the same bad actors (with scumsucking piglet James O'Keefe) who put out lie after lie, all based on falsely represented speech. How many people lost their jobs? How many voices of advocates were silenced?

There is this myth that conservatives like to tell, about intolerance on the left. To be sure, there are excesses. To be sure, speech codes and trigger warnings deserve examination and criticism. And there is a debate to be had over balancing religious freedom with non-discrimination, a debate that the Rude Pundit would be happy to have with Powers.

But, looking at the history of speech in this country, including McCarthyism, the victims of genuine silencing are usually the ones who Powers tries to make the villains.

6/15/2015

Review of Kirsten Powers' The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech (Part 1)

Unlike many in Left Blogsylvania, the Rude Pundit respects Kirsten Powers, a self-proclaimed liberal (and she is, on many issues not related to abortion) and columnist who appears regularly on Fox "news," often as the designated liberal who is not Juan Williams. She is willing to go toe-to-toe with O'Reilly and Hannity, so, yeah, a measure of respect is due.

We once got into an email back and forth a few years back over his mocking of Michelle Malkin and other conservatives for a terrible web show they did with Powers, a mock the Rude Pundit stands by to this day. But Powers was a passionate advocate for her side of an argument about the treatment of conservative women by the left. Unlike many in this punditry ballgame, Powers is sincere, and the Rude Pundit has found himself agreeing with her on several occasions. Hell, she used to write for the American Prospect.

When he saw that Powers had published a new book, titled The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, he very much wanted to read it and reached out to Powers to get a copy. See, this here blog supports free speech in all its forms, whether it be rude, crude, vicious, or mundane. He despises when people are excoriated or, worse, lose their jobs because the left wants to scream them into, yes, silence. He defended Juan Williams when the commentator was fired from NPR. He has supported the free speech of truly appalling people and Don Imus. He's stood up for Ward Churchill and other liberal radicals who have been attacked for what they've spoken or written. And if he hasn't been pure about it, he has at least always recognized that free speech is an issue (and, yes, he realizes the First Amendment is about the government censoring speech, not businesses).

So he was all ready to sink his teeth into The Silencing, even ignoring that the book was blurbed by Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will because Powers works at Fox. Of course, she has right-wing pals. And Powers starts promisingly enough, talking about a ridiculous incident where feminist (and decidedly liberal) writer Wendy Kaminer pissed off people at a Smith College alumnae gathering in New York City by using the word "nigger" to talk about how absurd the phrase "n-word" is when talking about Huckleberry Finn.

Because the college president was there, student groups attacked her for "blithely sitting on a panel that turned into an 'explicit act of racial violence' and complained that Kaminer was allowed to speak 'uncensored.'" It's utter bullshit, of course. It's students, especially students whose voices have traditionally been silenced, learning all kinds of stuff about race and gender in their classes and anxious to try this shit out in the world. That's not meant as something reductive or demeaning; it's an appreciation for how you learn and grow while studying at college, how you find your voice that you'll use out in the world. Of course there are excesses.

But the problem with Powers' book starts here, too. Because, see, no one was actually silenced. No one had their authority taken away, no one was banned, no one was fired. Free speech met free speech and then everyone went on with their lives. Indeed, Kaminer wrote a great Washington Post editorial on the whole issue. Smith's president apologized that people were upset by it. And we're done.

Much of The Silencing is frustrating in this way. In the notes the Rude Pundit made on the side, time and again, he asked, "Who is being silenced?"

For instance, Powers includes many incidents of conservatives being attacked by liberals. Black conservatives are called "Uncle Tom" or race traitor. (The Rude Pundit has done this - and he'd do it again.) Again, here, no one was silenced. Sure, people were being jerks to black conservatives; they were using impolite speech. Condoleezza Rica is mentioned as having been called "Aunt Jemima," which doesn't really make sense, but, still, no one can accuse anyone of having shut down Rice's ability to speak or work. And you'd think that Powers would make at least reference to right-wing attacks on black liberals, which are far more concerted, far more cruel, and far more demeaning.

Then there's this: "Audience members at a 2002 gubernatorial debate threw Oreos at then-Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, he told me." Steele, if you don't remember, is an African American who was once chaired the RNC. The problem is that the incident didn't happen. At best, one poorly timed snack cookie spilled from someone's bag and rolled towards Steele. Just because someone tells you something doesn't mean it happened that way.

Well, hell. This has gone on longer than the Rude Pundit intended. He'll continue tomorrow with the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then he will show how the book could have been written.

6/12/2015

Dead Wrestler: Farewell to the American Dream

Yesterday, among the announcements of so many deaths, only one hit the Rude Pundit where it hurt: right in the childhood. 'Cause, see, when he was a kid in the 1970s, living in a trailer park in Florida and an apartment complex in Louisiana, the Rude Dad, who was a trucker back then, the Rude Brother, and the young Rude Pundit loved professional wrestling. The Rude Bro, especially, was totally into it, buying wrestling magazines and constantly watching it on TV on every weekend. They could argue about the relative merits of Harley Race or "Cowboy" Bill Watts, whose side they were on in a match between "Superstar" Billy Graham (sadly, not the preacher) and Ted DiBiase, whether the Sheik's Camel Clutch was a more painful move than Pak Song's Claw. But one thing they could agree on: No one was greater than Dusty Rhodes, the American Dream, as he called himself.

The Rude Pundit is not going to review the larger-than-life career of Dusty Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Runnels, Jr. and who was beloved by everyone in his sport. You can find that elsewhere. This fan had given up on professional wrestling long before Rhodes made his justifiably famous "Hard Times" promo speech in 1985, where he explicitly linked himself with his working class fans and gave sympathy to people who lost jobs or couldn't pay the bills.

No, for the Rude Pundit, one of the formative moments in his very young life was watching Dusty Rhodes face down his enemies who had once been his friends. You're gonna have to forgive the fog of decades here (and corrections will be made if necessary), but here we go: When Rhodes first started wrestling he was booked as someone who veered between bad guy and good guy. He was in a tag team partnership with Pak Song, a Korean wrestler who was, obviously, a bad guy (it was the 70s - Korea was as good a stand-in for Vietnam as any). They were managed by the evil Gary Hart. Yeah, it was a complicated, scripted soap opera, but, goddamn, it was compelling.

In 1974, Rhodes and Pak Song were fighting against another tag team partnership when, in the middle of the match, Pak Song and Gary Hart turned against Rhodes and began to beat him (there was some reason, but the Rude Pundit can't remember). This was in Florida, and the Rude Pundit remembers watching on TV as Rhodes rose up to fight back against the other men, who ran away. It was a brilliant move, one that Rhodes had a hand in scripting, and it turned Rhodes into a permanent good guy, someone with a grudge and a cause - to destroy Gary Hart and Hart's wrestlers.

Rhodes became a superstar after that, associating himself directly with his audience by using the nickname "The American Dream." It was an enthralling transformation for a kid to see, a tale of redemption and triumph in a squalid setting. Rhodes understood, as much as any wrestler, as much as any performer, as much as any popular artist, that part of the thrill for the fans is being a part of the rise of their hero. He offered hope in a time of real despair, with the obscene Vietnam War coming to its sad ending, with Nixon's crimes being revealed. The world was in chaos, yes, but in the middle of Florida in the 1970s, Dusty Rhodes showed us that we could come back, that our working class backgrounds made us noble, and that even a fat slob with a lisp and shaggy blonde hair could be a champion. Besides, he had a patented move called the "Bionic Elbow," which involved him leaping into the air and landing on his opponent with his elbow, and he eventually headlined matches at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. C'mon.

If you think this is too over the top, you don't understand the passion that professional wrestling provokes in its fans. When the Rude Pundit got to go to live matches and see Dusty Rhodes (and Andre the Giant, once), it was the same thrill he had seeing Ian McKellen perform on stage. In fact, he believes that the extravagant theatricality of wrestling was what got him interested in plays that are directed at audiences of workers. The Rude Pundit can't comment on today's wrestling because, other than when someone like a Hulk Hogan surfaces in pop culture, he doesn't know much about it. But he loves talking to WWE fans because it provokes him to remember how much it meant to him.

When we'd play fight, the Rude siblings would pretend to be various wrestlers. We would argue over who got to be Dusty Rhodes, who got to act, for a little while, like the American Dream. If we embody him, if we could do him justice, perhaps we too would deserve all his rewards which we, like him, would pass on to others.

Final Note: Rude reader Dan B. knew Dusty Rhodes and had this to say about him: "He was larger than life but totally down to earth. A creative genius and a force of nature. But also, he was able to focus on the person he was with, co-worker or fan, and relate on a deeply personal level that always left an indelible impact for life in that individual. He was one of the biggest box office draws in the history of The Business, but his blue collar sensibilities never left him. 'I have wined and dined with Kings and Queens, but have slumbered in alleys eating pork and beans.' He was truly a plumber's son from Austin who never lost his love of The Common Man. This was what make him one of the most beloved babyfaces of all time. If he was your friend, you had a defender equaled by none. I loved him like a big brother and looked forward to the next time I would see him and be welcomed like the prodigal son. This is a huge loss for me and everyone who ever knew or met him.

"The most important fact about Dusty is that his affection for the proletariat was totally authentic, not a 'work.' Patrons could sense that."

6/11/2015

Note to Comedians: Stop Whining About Political Correctness at Colleges

This week, in a course the Rude Pundit is teaching this summer on Italian radical playwrights Dario Fo and Franca Rame, we read a short play titled "The Rape." It is a monologue told in present tense from the perspective of a woman who is kidnapped, raped, and tortured before being left on the side of a road. A harrowing piece, "The Rape" is all the more so because Rame herself, who performed it, was the very victim whose torment she is narrating. We discussed the monologue openly and sensitively, all appalled at the vivid descriptions, all admiring of the courage it took for Rame to perform it.

The Rude Pundit constantly teaches things that might upset students. He regularly teaches the play Blasted by Sarah Kane, which might be called "artsy torture porn." He does this because the plays shake the students out of their complacency. They have to confront something that is not just words on a page but also bodies on a stage. He talks about religion, gender, race, and more. He doesn't fear his students; he didn't before he was tenured. He admires, supports, and appreciates them. Well, most of them. (By the way, he also teaches Shakespeare.)

The only time he can remember a class discussion actually becoming something disturbing had nothing to do with these more graphic plays. Several years back, at another university, we were talking about A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, specifically the scene where Stanley rapes Blanche. A contingent of students believed that Blanche was "asking for it." A significant group of men and women said that, because she was flirting with Stanley and flaunting her (performed) femininity, she deserved to be raped. Some students vocally disagreed, but the pro-Stanley group held firm.

What can you do in that situation if you're the professor? Dr. Rude Pundit could have shut the whole thing down, told the asking-for-it students that they were wrong and that such thoughts had no place in a classroom. He could have jumped into the fray, taken the side of the anti-rape students, and crushed the other side. Who learns shit in either of those cases? All students get from those approaches is that politically correct professors will silence you.

Instead, this professor attempted to understand where they were coming from, not to validate their point of view (his aghast face probably had betrayed any attempt to pretend he was being objective), but to really figure out why they would say that. It came down to their limited comprehension of gender dynamics, of how Blanche was asserting power from her powerlessness, of how Stanley used the most brutal way possible to strip her power. The conversation was fascinating, and, while they could have been lying to please the teacher, more than a few had changed their minds by the end. (Let's not even get into a discussion here about how disturbed he was that several women in class were fine with Blanche being raped.)

Students could have complained. They could have said that they felt unsafe. They could have said that the Rude Pundit had no business even entertaining the appalling opinion of part of the class.

But they didn't. And you know why? Because the vast majority of students at the vast majority of campuses aren't concerned with political correctness, a term that seems to have come to mean, "Wait, you mean I can't do black voice, flit my hands gayly, and slap a female's ass?" for straight white men. Most students the Rude Pundit has taught, most students the Rude Pundits friends and colleagues have taught, most students period, across the nation, coast to coast, don't go to places where political correctness is considered beyond "Everyone is equal, and that actually means something. Now get over it."

Jerry Seinfeld, whose Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a damn funny online show, has become a conservative hero this week for complaining about "creepy" political correctness on college campuses. Like Chris Rock before him, he refuses to perform at colleges because, as he told ESPN radio, kids on campuses "just want to use these words.‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about."

Even if we accept this as true, that college students (and faculty) have knee-jerk reactions and are too ready to organize a protest through Facebook and march on a Seinfeld show, so what? Seinfeld and Rock and, yes, even Larry the Cable Guy are comedians, people who supposedly want to push the edge of what is acceptable. How about, instead of whining about it, you confront it? How about you bravely go into the campuses that might most have a problem with your "gay French king" joke (which, c'mon, a little easy) and you fuckin' put it out there?

When speech police on the right censored Richard Pryor, he didn't bitch about it and only play to friendly audiences. He went out and became bigger than ever. When the actual police shut down Lenny Bruce, he went to his death fighting for his right to say, "Cocksucker" to adults in a club. He didn't just adjust his touring schedule.

But here's what Seinfeld, et al would find out if they'd stop listening to the poor comedians who got a few people upset at some campus: people protest things. And then those people speak. And then everyone's life goes one. They'd also discover, maybe to their chagrin, that at most campuses around the United States, most students are fine with letting you speak and moving on. They want to try to pass their classes, work their jobs, pay their bills, and live their lives.

(Note: The Rude Pundit has been reading Kirsten Powers' book The Silencing lately, and all this ludicrous alarmism needs to be separated from the cases where people are actually silenced, not merely inconvenienced by the voices of people who haven't been heard enough. No one is taking food out of the mouth of Seinfeld's kid.)

(Note to the Note: He'll review Powers' book soon.)

(Note not relating to the other Notes: This isn't about trigger warnings or other things. It's only about speech and political correctness. He'll deal with that stuff another time. Perhaps when he reviews The Silencing.)

6/10/2015

America's Obsession With Punishment: Who Cares If You're Guilty?

If you haven't watched John Oliver's report on the punitive bail system in the United States on his HBO show, find it and do it. It reveals several things that should shock our consciences, like the fact that people plead guilty to crimes, even if they are innocent, because they can't afford bail and don't want to go to jail. Of course, that would presume an ability to still be shocked, as well as presuming we still have consciences. Would that were the only thing to be shocked about.

Bear in mind, law and order fetishists who pleasure themselves to dashboard camera videos of police brutality, what the Rude Pundit is going to talk about here has to do with people, including minors, who have been accused of crimes but have not faced trial, let alone conviction, for often minor offenses. Let's focus in on Rikers Island in New York City, which is like the notorious Devil's Island but with less sharks and more prisoner beatings.

This week, as you may have seen, 22 year-old Kalief Browder committed suicide at the home he shared with his mother in New York City. When he was almost 17, he was arrested, accused of stealing a backpack. After over two months in a Bronx jail, where he stayed because his family couldn't afford bail, he was indicted by a grand jury and sent to Rikers Island without bail because he had violated probation on a previous crime - taking a joyride in a delivery truck - he had plead guilty to. At 17, he was held at Rikers for three years, the last seventeen months almost all in solitary confinement. His trial kept being put off and put off. He was even offered a deal to take three and a half years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea. Prosecutors hope that being held without trial for a long period will entice accused people to take a plea in order to get out. No muss, no fuss, a win for the good guys, right? Browder wouldn't take the plea, so back to Rikers he went, where he was beaten by guards, beaten by inmates, attempted suicide several times, was denied meals and medical care, and was finally released when the prosecutor said they had no case.

In other words, an innocent young man, a teenager, was imprisoned and tortured, and no one gave two shits about him. And his mind was destroyed by the experience. He couldn't function after all that time in solitary. He was paranoid and was hospitalized for a bit. Then, on Saturday, "Mr. Browder pushed an air-conditioning unit out of a second-floor window at his parents’ home, wrapped a cord around his neck and...pushed himself out of the opening feet-first."

There have been no arrests made in Kalief Browder's death.

This is what we are doing in this nation, where we have all the money in the world to keep trying to unfuck the fucked beyond fucked situation in Iraq. But actually fund the criminal justice system in a way that doesn't strand innocent people in jail just because they're poor? What are you? Some kind of bleeding heart pussy?

According to a New York Times article from April, "As of late March, over 400 people had been locked up for more than two years without being convicted of a crime, according to city data that is to be released publicly for the first time. And there are currently a half-dozen people at Rikers who have been waiting on pending cases for more than six years." Imagine hearing about prisoners in Nigeria held without trial for six years. We'd be outraged. We might even start a hashtag protest. This state of affairs is mostly because of a backlog of cases from courts where trials move too slowly, there aren't enough judges or attorneys, and/or general incompetence reigns. By the way, the number of unconvicted people sitting in Rikers is actually down from a few years ago. And Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to make "speedy trial" actually mean something. (Fun fact: New York's speedy trial statute has huge gaps that allow for many, many delays.)

While they are staying at Rikers, these potentially innocent people live in a population with a 40% mental illness rate. Also, until very recently, Rikers' health care for prisoners was run by a company, Corizon Health, that "repeatedly failed to screen and supervise its employees, hiring doctors and mental health workers with serious disciplinary problems and criminal histories, including for murder and kidnapping." No one, however, will be going to jail for this.

How we treat our convicted criminals in the United States is often appalling. How we treat people who haven't been convicted of any crimes ought to be criminal itself.

6/09/2015

David Brooks and the Myth of the Unreasonable Democrat (Updated)

In today's New York Times (motto: "Our anti-Clinton boner is just getting hard"), David Brooks has a piece where he describes the problem with the campaign strategy of Hillary Clinton, which comes down to "She ain't sucking the dicks of the yahoos." In his column (if by "column," you mean, "a consistent stream of illogical and ahistorical thought worded in a way to hide a vast, dark emptiness of the soul"), Brooks fears that Clinton is making a mistake by "adopt[ing] left-leaning policy positions carefully designed to energize the Obama coalition."

See, Clinton shouldn't veer left-er, Brooks says, because that'll make the mythical independents run away. And "If Clinton comes across as a stereotypical big-spending, big-government Democrat, she will pay a huge cost in the Upper Midwest and the Sun Belt," because, obviously, a whole lot of people in Alabama are just chomping at the bit to vote for Clinton, if only she keeps her liberal thoughts to herself.

It's just a disaster waiting to happen, and Brooks flops on his fainting couch about what might happen if Clinton goes ahead with this strategy to appeal to voters who vote for her. It polarizes the country, which is just too darn polarized already: "Politics is broken today because those sorts of leaders have been replaced by highly polarizing, base-mobilizing politicians who hew to party orthodoxy." Polarized, damnit.

Of course, it's all about getting shit done, and no-way, no-how would Clinton be able to. She'll miss out on a possible Shangri-La of legislative success: "If the next president hopes to pass any actual laws, he or she will have to create a bipartisan governing majority. That means building a center-out coalition, winning 60 reliable supporters in the Senate and some sort of majority in the House." Just look at all the leaders who succeeded recently. They all said they'd lead from the middle: "In 1992, Bill Clinton firmly grabbed the center. In 2000, George Bush ran as a uniter, not a divider. In 2008, Barack Obama ran as a One Nation candidate who vowed to transcend partisan divides."

Now you, being a semi-rational person, actually understands what happened in the United States in the last, oh, hell, let's say decade and a half. You know that George W. Bush's "uniter" line was  complete bullshit, that, after bumblefucking around for a few months, he got 9/11ed into a position where he could just do whatever the fuck he wanted, center or left be damned, using fear and lies and intimidation to ass-fuck the nation. But at least Democrats tried to work with him.

To pretend in any way that Obama is responsible for the polarization of politics in his time in office is to deliberately obfuscate recent history because right-wing idiots will believe anything a conservative jacks off into their brains. Obama tried, desperately, to work with Republicans, who told him to shove it up his black ass. One of the main stories of the Obama administration is the concerted effort of the Republican party to break Americans apart, to shove them back to partisan divides, to wreck any chance at even a compromised unity. You want to praise Obama for trying to reach out? Then you have to put in how it demoralized his coalition of voters, leading to the 2010 and 2014 midterms debacle. If Obama had "pandered" to the base, he might still have had a chance to do more than a piecemeal version of his agenda. The fact of the matter is that Obama was the reasonable Democrat, and his opposition couldn't have given less of a shit.

Back in 2011, Brooks was also warning Democrats not to play to the base, intimating that Obama might not win reelection if he did. Besides, that game is only for Republicans because only 15% of people at the time said they trusted the government: "If Obama were a Republican, he could win with this sort of strategy: Repeat your party’s most orthodox positions and then rip your opponent to shreds. Republicans can win a contest between an orthodox Republican and an orthodox Democrat because they have the trust in government issue on their side." Like now, this was nonsense because the actual Gallup poll said that 15% have a "Great Deal" of trust. Another 42% had a "Fair Amount" of trust. By the magic of the Rude Pundit's amazing adding abilities, that's 57% who have a good bit of trust in the government, a number that's stayed pretty fuckin' steady.

In other words, David Brooks's assumptions were based on selectively picking numbers. Fuck that. Fuck the center. The center is a lie, filled with people who are pussies about saying what they really are - they're fucknuts who want to act like they are so independent when all they're really doing is licking the asses of rich Republicans or they're people who want to call themselves Democrat but were raised Republican and don't know what to do.

So the Rude Pundit offers the opposite advice to Clinton: Fuck being reasonable. Look where that got you in 2008. Punch the yahoos in the balls and preach to the converted, who want to feel good about going to church.

Update: Let's be honest here, too. Bernie Sanders is the real liberal in the race, whatever you think his chances are. Hillary Clinton has taken some positions on issues that are to the left of Republicans, which, of course, puts conservatives into a froth, even if her ideas are not particularly radical. Most of the things Clinton says (or that Sanders says, for that matter) are very popular positions among, you know, the majority of voters.

6/08/2015

Senator John Thune: "I Am a Total Twat"

Here's what GOP Senator John Thune of the state of South Dakota, whose entire population couldn't fill Brooklyn, tweeted on the Twitter today:


The six million people (generally a number of people you want to avoid saying is going to have something bad happen to) Thune is talking about are the Americans who have gotten insurance through the federal health insurance exchanges because their states are run by GOP cockknobs. They would have their subsidies and, thus, their insurance taken away if the Supreme Court decides a single sentence in the Affordable Care Act nullifies many other sentences and lives. Oh, and it was conservatives who came up with this fuckery as a Hail Mary pass to shitcan Obamacare. 

By the way, that 6 mill includes thousands of South Dakotans. 19,000 just this year, 88% of whom get subsidies on the federal exchange. 

Some fine representation you're electing, South Dakota. 

6/05/2015

Fun with Campaign Websites: Did Ted Cruz Plagiarize His Campaign Logo?

Here's the logo for Senator Ted Cruz's campaign for the Republican nomination for President:


Let's focus in a little on that flame:


It could be sharper, but, you know, for the sake of argument. Now, in that form, the Rude Pundit glanced at it and thought, "Huh. That looks familiar. Like the symbol for natural gas." It was time for a few precious seconds on the Google machine.

Here's one of the flame symbols for natural gas:


And for the sake of comparison, here's Cruz's flame with the color taken down a great deal (and, no, the Rude Pundit is no Photoshop expert):


Huh. That's...interesting

Of course, it could be a coincidence. You know, there are many three-curve symbols for fire. But most are certainly different enough not to be confused.

Perhaps the truth here is that Cruz wants you to associate him with natural gas, a kind of pro-fossil fuel statement. Or maybe it's all unintentional and we should just laugh at gasbag Cruz and this ironic karmic comeuppance.

But it is definitely just on the other side of "curious."

6/04/2015

Teenage Josh Duggar Fingered His 5 Year-Old Sister's Vagina

Yeah, that harsh headline was necessary because we are now in the middle of a bullshit river when it comes to the juvenile crimes of Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the Duggar clan featured on 19 Kids and Counting (aka "That Show We'll Never See Again") and former leader at the Family Research Council (motto: "We don't know any Josh Duggar"). From ages 14-15, Josh Duggar fingered girls, including four out of five of his sisters, and it wasn't just "over their clothes while they were sleeping," as Josh's parents told Megyn Kelly last night on the Fox "news" program The Kelly Sneer.

Daddy Duggar says this repeatedly: it was just touching a breast over clothes. The girls don't even remember it, he says. But then there's this from the police report: Josh "was reading to his 5 year old sister and as she was sitting on his lap, he had touched her breasts and vaginal area." Later on, Josh cornered the girl in the laundry room, and he "put his hand under her dress." Oh, and he fondled the breasts of a female family friend as she slept over.

How much you wanna bet that the only reason Josh tearfully confessed to his parents was because he was afraid of being narced out by one of his sisters? The fucker was 15. He knew it was wrong to finger his very little sister's vagina. That's what he did. Let's not tiptoe around it or use code.

Right now, like many other right-wing molestation apologists, conservative America's Idiot Queen, Sarah Palin, is squawking about progressive hypocrisy because of Lena Dunham. Yes, Lena Dunham. "I’m sickened that the media gives their chosen ones a pass for any behavior as long as they share their leftwing politics. Case in point, they suggest Lena Dunham's sexual assault on her sibling is cute," Palin grunts incoherently. You might ask, "The fuck?" Indeed, the fuck. In case you don't remember, Dunham was seven when she looked into her one year-old sister's vagina. She also said that she masturbated once when her sister was sleeping in the same bed as her and that she paid her sister to kiss her. Somehow, in her tiny brain tainted by too much alcohol and moose jerky, Palin equates an adolescent fondling his sleeping sisters with a prepubescent girl checking out her younger sister's hoo-hah.

Oh, Bristol Palin chimed in, too, but who the fuck cares.

Bonus fun with Alaskan dimwits: Palin says, flatly, " I’m not an apologist for any sexual predator," just before she dismisses Josh Duggar's actions as youthful "wrongdoing," and then says the real issue is that the police report was released and that the "media" is going "after the entire Duggar family for one member’s wrongdoing, while giving a total pass to perverted actions of someone like Lena Dunham." And because no Facebook post by Sarah Palin is ever complete without a moment of total monkeyfuck insanity, she jabbers, "Such obvious double standards applied to equally relevant stories underestimate the wisdom of the public, discredit the press, and spit on the graves of every American who fought and died for the press's freedom." Damn, that's the kind of leaping that'd make a parkour expert say, "How the fuck did you get there?"

Of course it all gets back to the Duggars. These greedy Jesus-fellaters knew that they had a huge goddamned skeleton in the closet, but somehow they got it in their head that God wanted them to make a shit-ton of money by exploiting their children for profit. Then they took it further and got into political statements about how gay and lesbian couples were gonna destroy the nation. Meanwhile, the state trooper/family friend who decided against doing any investigation into Josh's multiple fingerings and fondlings was put in prison for extra-horrific child pornography because that's how shit rolls among the godly in Arkansas.

Put aside how messed up the whole situation is. Put aside that Jim Bob Duggar should have just shut the fuck up about anything to do with sex and probably should have declined any public position at all. Put aside that the Duggar parents put Josh in some of kind of Jesus camp to learn that fingering a five year-old's vagina is wrong. Put aside that just because God forgave Josh, it doesn't mean the rest of us should. Instead, focus on the fact that Mama and Daddy Duggar thought everything was a-ok. Except...

They told Megyn Kelly something that should demonstrate the lie that the entire show was. Michelle Duggar mentioned how they changed the behavior of the kids after Josh's confession: " I mean, there were a lot of things that changed in our understanding as parents with this first child, first son to come to this place in his life, we're like, there were things we learned even since then that I think, you know what, we don't let boys baby-sit. They don't play hide and seek together, the two don't go off and hide. There are just a lot of things we've put in place. You're not alone in a room with someone else. Always be out visible, and, you know, little ones don't sit on big boys' laps or people that you don't know or even family members, unless it's your daddy. So we just -- there's boundaries that we've learned --"

Josh Duggar's actions fucked up his family. Things that would be considered normal in any other family, like two kids hiding during a game, were now sinister. Yet these manipulative fakers pretended to be paragons of family values. That's why the "press" is going after the Duggars.

Blame yourselves, right-wingers. You paraded these assholes in front of us and then were shocked when they shit the nest.

Edited: It's bullshit that the police report was released improperly.

6/03/2015

Your State Sucks: Louisiana Sucks Because It Doesn't Value Women Equally

Oh, it's always bittersweet when you have to say that your one-time home state sucks. Considering that the Rude Pundit has blazed a trail of debauchery throughout the nation, there's a good chance he means your state. However, this time, and for a reason you might see coming, he's going back to where he came from, Louisiana, and telling you how the Pelican State, the Sportsman's Paradise, has failed women again.

No, this time it's not the state's bullshit abortion rights restrictions, which don't go far enough for Gov. Bobby Jindal, soon to be a contestant on "Who Polls Lower Than George Pataki?" And, nope, it's not that the state's legislature watered down a bill to prevent domestic abusers from getting guns, allowing that sometimes a man will just beat a woman on the first date on a whim and that man should not be punished by losing his God-given right to a rifle.

Louisiana sucks because a study by the National Women's Law Center placed the Bayou State at the bottom for wages for working mothers as compared to working fathers. Mothers who have jobs earn 58.2 cents for every dollar employed dads make. The nation as a whole did shitty: 70 mommy cents for every daddy dollar. Last year, the same group ranked Louisiana last for all women: 65.9 lady pennies for every gentleman's buck. So...huzzah for consistency? The comparison is men and women, fathers and mothers, in full-time jobs, so shut the fuck up with whatever "But moms..." you're thinking.

By the way, second-to-last isn't even close, statistically speaking: New Mexico mothers make 62.7 cents for the pop dollar. The top of the chart is Washington, DC, with a still-low 90 cents.

The Republicans who run Louisiana would claim until the end of time that they love mothers, they support mothers, mothers are the foundation of society, and other trite bullshit. But until legislators at all levels are willing to put up the money to prove their devotion to their moms, their words are as hollow as the 40% of the purses of the state's mothers.

6/02/2015

How Not to Be a Conservative Asshole About Caitlyn Jenner (Featuring Advice from a Conservative)

When the former Bruce Jenner made her debut as Caitlyn Jenner with the release of the Vanity Fair cover photo and story, the reaction from the right was mostly as predictable as the yappy little dog barking next door at 7 a.m. (shut the fuck up, Piddles!) and about as meaningful. The Twitter responses ranged from "I'm gonna try to be funny about my assholery" to "I'm a total cockknob and don't care who knows."

More in-depth fuckery is easy to find. Here's Matt Walsh in The Blaze (motto: "If Glenn Beck doesn't have an outlet, he will go on a seven-state killing spree"): "What [Jenner] most closely resembles is a mentally disordered man who is being manipulated by disingenuous liberals and self-obsessed gay activists. Far from having the appearance of a genuine woman, he reminds me of someone who is being abandoned to his delusions by a culture of narcissistic imbeciles...This is a bastardization of our humanity on a scale and to a degree that wouldn’t have even crossed the tortured minds of last century’s most prophetic social critics." There is a lot of vagina sand in those ellipses, as well as more overwriting than Harlan Ellison on a meth bender.

Of course, one aspect of Jenner's life that interested some on the right is that, pre-transition, Bruce Jenner had proclaimed he was a Republican. Would Caitlyn also be GOP, as if somehow becoming a woman would make her change her political beliefs (which, quite frankly, is not a crazy assumption)? On Fox "news," two-fifths of The Five proclaimed that it was more brave for Jenner to say she's Republican than to make a gender change.

And this is where a lonely conservative blogger on right-wing urinal Hot Air comes in. This morning, Amanda Munoz posted on how great Caitlyn Jenner would be for the Republican Party, and, whether or not you agree with her politics, it is a primo example on how conservatives should not be assholes about Jenner.

Munoz welcomed Jenner: "It was refreshing to see the way in which she was overwhelmingly welcomed into this world." She continued, "With the momentum from this announcement and affiliation, Caitlyn inadvertently gave the Republican Party something it desperately needs more of – 'street cred,' simply put, an understanding sense of humanity. The party overall was to warm up to these 'differences' and use them as a broader tool to crush problems (not people) that really matter – like insurmountable national and student debt, ever-increasing national security threats and domestic encroachments on Constitutional liberties – Democrats would stand no chance."

That's kind of amazing. And Hot Air, despite its insanity, is no fringe website. Obviously, the comment section is filled with love and support. No, please, it's just an unending stream of anger, transphobia, crank psychology, and stupidity.

Munoz even made it onto Shakey the Deaf Clown's Masturbatorium of Hate, where Shakey the Deaf Clown jiggled his jangly jowls about how ludicrous Munoz was and offered some nutzoid psychoanalysis of his own: "We should not be celebrating this, we should not be lionizing this, we should not be encouraging this. These people have a very serious problem, and they need treatment. They need help, not encouragement." Also, according to Shakey, trans is the new gay, since the gays have won their battles. Or some shit like that.

As for Caitlyn Jenner, she is a marketing genius, frankly. Not only did she put out a picture that probably confused the hell out of many a libido yesterday (although it shouldn't have), but she has a reality show where she gets to own her exploitation. In that way, as a good capitalist, Caitlyn Jenner, like her previous gender incarnation, represents what America is at this moment.

6/01/2015

In Brief: India Is Heat-Fucked

How very fucked is India? Right now, in Kama Sutra terms, Climate is doing the pushcart on India on the back of a pissed-off tiger. The May heatwave, now extending into June, in the southern and western interior of the country has killed 17 million chickens, who, truth be told, had a mighty shitty life to begin with. Temperatures reached between 115 and 120 for days on end, and that's pretty much what slowly roasting is like. This is a double whammy to the Indian economy. With 10% of all the nation's chickens dead, the price of poultry has risen 35% and demand for food to feed the chickens has plunged, along with the already low price for corn and soybeans. Maybe capitalists will understand this to mean "not good."

Let's put this in terms everyone can understand:
The current heatwave in large chunks of India is now the fifth worst one in the world since records have been kept. Wanna guess when the rest of the top five occurred? Yeah, all in the last 17 years: 2003, 2010, 2006, and 1998. Since India already has over 2300 dead so far this year and number 4, 1998 in India, had just over 2500 deaths, well, we might have to narrow that time span to a dozen years.

Heat waves have become so common in the late spring in India in the last two decades that it's pretty much now "the weather," as in the definition of "climate changed." Cities and towns are supposed to have plans in place to try to mitigate heat deaths, but, in a touchingly American-like refusal to react to what's happening in the world around them, most Indian local governments have no such Heat Action Plan.

Luckily, a monsoon is approaching, arriving on the southern coast on June 4, it is predicted, which is a bit later than usual. That means a few million more dead chickens. And at least a few hundred more dead humans.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, the floods that have wrecked much of east and central Texas have also ended the long drought in those regions. It would have been nice for that rain to have been spread out over the last few years instead of in one big gush, but, hey, climate change taketh and climate change giveth. The ways of climate change shall not be questioned because climate change doesn't give a shit about your opinion. Or your chickens.